A journey full of pits and falls for Chandigarhians

City Roads Traffic

The main roads of Sector 46 are full of potholes for the past year. Municipal Corporation’s promises have fallen short.

Chandigarh: Thrice in a week—that is the number of times Kanwalpreet had to get her car’s tyres checked because of the potholes that lay on the Sector 46-A, B-road.

“It is an inconvenience to get them checked every week,” said Kanwalpreet Kaur, a regular commuter from the area. The roads in the area got potholes a year ago, even after constant complaints from the nearby residents they were not repaired. 

“I try to dodge the potholes while driving,” said Kamalpreet Kaur, who rides a two-wheeler. “I’m afraid if I am not careful then I might lose balance and fall.” The data by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) shows that 18 road accidents involving two-wheelers occurred in Chandigarh in 2019. One of the main reason for these accidents were potholes. Two-wheeler accidents make 0.63 percent of the total cases in the country.

The Municipal Corporation (MC) of Chandigarh promised the residents that the road would be fixed, but it has been more than a year and no changes have been made.

“We have started the work on the roads near the market area,” said Gurpreet Singh Dhillon, the Councilor of Sector 46. The tender for the construction was passed a few weeks ago and after that, the construction was started. There are a few roads that are yet to be constructed but the “underground work” left in that area is preventing further construction of the roads.

  • Potholes on the road after excess traffic

“Last time during rains the drainage system was blocked in that area. So, the MC is working towards fixing that problem first. Once those new pipes are laid down, the overhead road construction will also be taken care of,” said Mr Dhillon.

As per the MC’s plan the pipes would be laid in the next two to four days. The construction of roads will probably start in a month.

“The MC constructs the road once and then after heavy rains, the potholes form on the roads,” said Kamalpreet. “Then they just patch up that area and after the next rain the cycle continues.”

Patched up potholes in the middle of the B-road in Sector 46-A, Chandigarh.

“The construction of roads requires two layers of concrete and one layer of sand,” said Gagandeep, a Civil Engineer from Bengaluru. The roads require a proper mixture of tar, concrete and sand. Without it, the constant rains can easily damage the roads forming potholes.

“The problem is that the contractors working with the government don’t have proper knowledge of the subject,” said Gagandeep. “Due to this, they keep on filling and patching the potholes rather than reconstructing the whole road.” This causes more damage to the roads, as they are not properly constructed.

Potholes reappeared in a patched up area after constant rainfalls

“Rainy seasons and entry of heavy vehicles on these low maintenance roads are the reasons that these potholes occur frequently,” he added.

A report said that very often “the present traffic volume is higher than the value for what the road was designed”.

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